"Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life—is the source from which self-respect springs."

~ Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem



The fact is, most of us will agree the past two years have been quite a ride. Even as a writer, it's been challenging to capture in words the array of emotions that have emerged during this time, as we were faced with a wide range of issues from politics to pandemics, mental health awareness, and the fallout from all of the above.

All of my personal and universal lived experiences over the past few years have encouraged me to write numerous articles intended to inspire hope in my readers. One important way of instilling hope is through being aware and conscious. For some ideas, please check out my article, "How to Be More Conscious and Compassionate," originally published in 2015 and just republished last week. There's no doubt that the subject is a timeless one, even dating back to my hippie days of the 1960s. I remember being obsessed with Ram Dass especially. Role models like Dass, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and the Dalai Lama are constant reminders of the importance of being conscious, compassionate, and fostering a positive attitude.

In thinking about all these powerful and inspiring humans, I'm taking a moment to reflect on those whom we have lost in 2021. As a writer, it's sad to note that we lost some very significant wordsmiths, including Beverly Cleary, Mary Catherine Bateson, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Eric Carle, Stephen Dunn, Gary Paulsen, Jakucho Setouchi, Robert Bly, Anne Rice, bell hooks, and most recently, Joan Didion.

I'd love to honor each one of them here, but due to space restrictions that is, unfortunately, impossible. Instead, I will honor the three who have had the most significant effect on my life. Eric Carle's books always kept me, my 3 children, and now 5 grandchildren amused and smiling. Stephen Dunn's poetry has always touched a tender nerve in me, and I had the pleasure of meeting at a writing conference a few years ago. Last, but not least, Joan Didion's counterculture writing deeply influenced me during my hippie years. Later I would go on to hand out her essay, "On Keeping a Notebook," in my writing workshops.

If you haven't yet, please check out Didion's biography on Netflix called, "The Center Will Not Hold." It so powerfully depicts her life, relationship with John Gregory Dunne, and the tragedy of losing both Dunne and her adopted daughter Quintana within the same year. Heartbreak cannot even begin to describe what she endured until her recent passing on December 23rd at age 87. Learning of all these passing is another reminder to enjoy each and every day of our lives, as we never know which day will be our last/

Here's to life, light, and happiness.

Wishing you a safe, happy and healthy 2022!!
The beginning of a New Year is a good time to begin a regular writing practice. For inspiration and instruction, here's an excerpt from my book WRITING FOR BLISS. The COMPANION JOURNAL has prompts to aid you on your journey.

I wrote and published my first memoir, not only to help me accept and understand losing my grandmother [to suicide]. but also to help others who might have faced similar losses. My intention in creating this present book, Writing for Bliss, is to share my passion for writing and how it has helped me heal over the course of six decades.

I hope it will help you transcend what immedi­ately meets your eyes by digging deeper into your psyche and hearing the voice of your true, authentic self, while listening to the messages of your heart rather than suppressing them. I want to share the different ways of reflecting and self-discovery I have learned as a way to bring a sense of wholeness and, ultimately, a sense of bliss. My hope is that readers will become inspired to write during their joyous and difficult times, while also experi­menting with different genres and ways of writing and being. 

  • What was your most memorable moment or experience in 2021?
  • Make a list of your intentions for 2022.
  • Write a letter to a deceased love one.
  • Write about the difference between conscious and being awake.

February 2022
Theme: Love
Details to follow


March 3, 2022
7 p.m. e.s.t.
"The Art of Memoir Writing"
Richmond Community
Richmond, MI
Details and registration available here soon

"Dear Poet from Diana.” (letter). A Love letter (or Poem) To: Anthology. 2021.

"Hunting for Wisdom: Musings of a Baby Boomer." (article). The Good Men Project. December 2, 2021.

"Coping with the Loss of a Grandparent." (article). The Good Men Project. December 9, 2021.

"How to Be More Conscious and Compassionate." (article). The Good Men Project. December 16, 2021.

"The Joy of Intimacy." (article). The Good Men Project. December 23, 2021.

"Lipstick." (poem). The Opiate Magazine. December 29, 2021.

"Father's Obsessions." (poem). Middle House Review. Height Chart Vol. 2. December 2021.

"Ditch Resolutions: Make Intentions Instead." (article). The Good Men Project. December 30, 2021.

I was roaming around McNally bookstore in New York and this book captured my eye. How could any book by a former Poet Laureate and Nobel Prize winner in literature be bad? This book is a reflective collection of poems, where one looks back on one's life wth a perspective and contemplation from the mundane to the more complicated.. Gluck wrote a lot about her deceased sister.

Her style is a refreshing way to look back on one's life and seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly, but always remembering that we come into the world alone and we die alone.

So many lines stand out, such as "You must find your footing/before you put your weight on it." and "The part of life/devoted to contemplation/was at odds with the part/committed to action."

Highly recommended!
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